PRIME Minister Dr Keith Rowley may soon have an extra $.35 million in his pocket after a High Court Master yesterday awarded compensation to him in a claim for defamation of character made on Facebook.
The claim was against Brian Stone, former chairman of the Caribbean New Media Group (CNMG, now TTT).
The order was made by Master Martha Alexis after Rowley successfully claimed he had been defamed by Stone by way of Facebook comments Stone had made, accusing him of being involved in receiving kickbacks from a certain segment of society, as well as corruption related to the construction of an apartment building in West Trinidad.
A default ruling was delivered in 2017 by a High Court judge after Stone failed to put in a defence to the claim.
In her ruling, Master Alexander ordered that the Prime Minister is to receive $.3 million in general damages and an additional $50,000 in aggravated damages,
He is to also receive interest at a rate of 2.5 per cent per annum from the date of the filing of the claim in February 2018, to yesterday’s date.
A 28-day stay of the order has also been granted in the event Stone intends to appeal the ruling.
During the course of the trial the Prime Minister went into the witness box but was not cross-examined by Stone’s attorneys since the necessary applications were not filed in accordance with the court’s rules on cross-examination of witnesses.